Becoming a Psychology Professor Your Guide to Landing the Right Academic Job

Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2019-08-13
Publisher(s): American Psychological Association
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Teaching psychology is a noble and rewarding endeavor, but finding the right position at the right college can be a daunting task. This book is designed to guide you through this complicated process by helping you find the job that matches your long‑term goals—whether you want to focus on research, teaching, or both—and to become a strong, competitive candidate in today’s challenging academic job market.
Author Guy Boysen begins by surveying the wide array of programs and institutions aspiring faculty should consider, including doctoral and master’s programs at public and private universities, community colleges, and baccalaureate colleges. He then reviews the ideal skills, experience, and professional connections that students should accumulate during graduate school. Readers will learn strategies for writing CVs, cover letters, and other application materials; securing effective letters of recommendation; preparing for phone, video, and on‑campus interviews; and negotiating terms of employment after being offered a job.

Author Biography

Guy A. Boysen, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology at McKendree University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota and his PhD from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. His scholarship emphasizes the teaching of psychology, professional development of teachers, and stigma toward mental illness. He previously coauthored a book on model teaching characteristics entitled An Evidence-based Guide to College and University Teaching. Dr. Boysen’s scholarship has led to Consulting Editor appointments at the journals Teaching of Psychology and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology. Guy Boysen lives in O'Fallon, Illinois. Visit and follow @GuyBoysen.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Welcome to the Profession!
Why This Book Is Necessary
Types of Faculty Positions
The Job Market

Your Guide to Success in the Job Market

Chapter 1. The Varieties of Academic Experiences: Types of Institutions
Doctoral Universities
Master's Universities
Baccalaureate Colleges
Community Colleges
Variations on Themes

Chapter 2. The Fundamental Research and Teaching Experiences Needed to Be a Psychology Professor

Chapter 3. Professional Service, Engagement, and Connections
Professional Service and Engagement
Matching Professional Services and Engagement to Your Desired Job
Face-to-Face Connections
Online Connections
Matching Professional Connections to Your Desired Job

Chapter 4. Searching for and Selecting Open Positions
When to Start the Job-Search Process
Determining Your Search Parameters
Finding Job Advertisements
Interpreting the Written and Unwritten Messages in Job Advertisements
Methods for Investigating Jobs
It's All About Fit

Chapter 5. Creating a Curriculum Vitae
Typical CV Content
Organizational Strategies
How Search Committees at Different Institutions Read CVs
The CV as a 30-Second Advertisement About You

Chapter 6. Application Materials and the Application Process
The Cover Letter: An Abstract of Your Fit With the Position
The Teaching Statement as an Expression of Model Teaching
The Research Statement as a Sign of Past Productivity and Future Potential
Other Application Materials and What They Mean
Securing Meaningful Letters of Recommendation
Rules for Communicating (or Not) With the College and the Search Committee

Chapter 7. Interviewing
Phone and Video Interviews
The On-Campus Interview
On-Campus Interview Questions You Should Be Prepared to Answer
Questions to Ask During the On-Campus Interview

Chapter 8. Job Offers and Negotiations
The Job Offer Timeline
Final Questions to Ask Yourself Before Accepting an Offer
Negotiating: Yes, You Really Have to Do It
Dealing With Declined Offers and Rejections

It Is All About Fit
Start Early
The Best Job in the World

Appendix: The Job Search Timeline
About the Author

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